Fairfield resident celebrates more than 25 years with local nonprofit

Fairfield resident Linda Snell recently celebrated a milestone work anniversary. The official anniversary is 25 years but in actuality, Snell has worked with the agency approximately 34 years. “I resigned and took off time briefly after the birth of my daughter,” Snell said. “But I came back about a year later!”

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a local non profit agency serving people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mid- Fairfield County since 1952.

Snell started working with STAR after moving back to Connecticut from Boston. She initially was hired as a “House Mother” at the first group home, working in direct care with clients who have developmental disabilities. Since then, she has worked as a Case Manager, Manager of Individual Services, Director of Residential Services and the last decade or so, as the Director of Family Support Services, helping families with follow up services after completion of the Birth to 3 and Early Intervention programs, as well as Senior Services.

Snell says she has particularly enjoyed working with the young families and their children, and also with her co-workers. “It’s amazing to watch our clients grow and learn things,” she said.

Snell says STAR was established by a group of parents who had children with disabilities back at a time when individuals with intellectual disabilities were not allowed in school and mainly institutionalized. In the 1970’s, the laws changed and the lives of people with intellectual disabilities become fuller, more inclusive and more family and self directed. “It’s about choices now. Families have different choices for care, education, day programs, employment and living options.”

Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR said, “Linda has been an important part of the STAR family since she started working with us. She is a true professional and advocate in this field, and a very dear friend. We are grateful for her professional experience, knowledge and genuine warmth with coworkers and the families we serve. Linda is a friend to everyone.”

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. STAR creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy while informing and encouraging the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals. For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way visit starct.org.

Linda Snell

Linda Snell at Alex & Ani in Westport for fundraiser to benefit STAR, Inc. Lighting the Way.

Linda Snell of Fairfield (on left) and Lois Marasco of Norwalk (on right) both celebrate 25 years of service with local agency, STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

Linda Snell of Fairfield (on left) and Lois Marasco of Norwalk (on right) both celebrate 25 years of service with local agency, STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

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